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Bastl masters first round in Paris

George Bastl now faces the world number two, Marat Safin.

(Keystone / Markus Stuecklin)

Swiss tennis player George Bastl has secured his place in the second round of the Paris Masters Series, after fighting his way through the weekend's qualifying rounds.

His compatriot, Marc Rosset, is also playing well in Paris, breezing past Spain's Fernando Vicente in straight sets in Monday evening's play.

Bastl, the Swiss number three, faced few difficulties in Monday's first round proper, beating local wildcard Michael Llodra in straight sets.

Bastl put the 20-year-old Parisian under pressure from the very start, earning several break points in the first set. In the seventh game Bastl finally converted one of those points to take a 4-3 lead.

The Chicago-born Swiss player held his service games to seal the first set 6-4, but was less consistent in the second set. After being broken twice in succession midway through the set, Bastl had to stage a late fight back to take the set into a tiebreak.

Bastl rediscovered his form just in time, though, seizing the tiebreak 7-3 to complete a 6-4, 7-6 victory in just over an hour and a half.

The Swiss player's reward will be a daunting second round encounter with world number two seed Marat Safin. The Russian winner of this year's US Open has already beaten Bastl twice this year, in the French Open and in the semi-finals of Tashkent's President's Cup.

Rosset, as expected, won against lower-ranked Vicente of Spain. The Swiss player cruised to a 6-4, 6-7 (3-7), 6-3 victory in the second encounter between the two players.

They first clashed in January of this year in Auckland, New Zealand. Then, Rosset also won in straight sets.

The Geneva-born player faces France's Cédric Pioline in the next round.

swissinfo with agencies

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